It's been a minute since my last post (August 2020.) Today, we pick up in a new month, a new season, and in part two of a story that began a year ago when two adult Black Vultures chose my old barn as their nesting site.
They returned this week! All the literature I can find about these birds says adults, who mate for life, are likely to return to a nesting site if it has proven successful. Last year it was. They laid two eggs. One hatched, and I named it Flower. The VeeVee's (parents) and Flower stayed with me through mid-October, at which time I can only assume they rejoined their community.
Since they don't migrate for the winter, I also assume that the pair or trio I sometimes saw soaring overhead were "my birds" keeping an eye on the Treehouse throughout the winter.
On Monday and again today, the adults returned to explore the barn, dance their courtship ritual, and ponder if my old barn will once again be suitable to try to raise more young. I observed from a distance, and like last year, they showed no aggression, no concern about my presence, just a bit of curiosity -- it was quite mutual.
For the majority of these photos, the male is on the right and the female on the left. I didn't realize that until he began his puffing and fluffing, surrounded her with his wings, and tried to step on top of her. She skirted out from under him to the right. He pursued her one more time, which is evident in the photos, but she chose to hop-fly to the ground.
After she did so, he made some racket jumping around inside the barn, making loud huffing noises as he exhaled air -- part of the courtship ritual. She stayed outside the barn on the ground, he soon joined her for a bask in the sun before they flew up to a nearby tree and away to the east skimming the treetops.